Norway's Wealth Fund Doubles Money on Central London Properties

Norway’s $870 billion sovereign-wealth fund said the value of its first real estate investments, stakes in London’s Regent Street and a cluster of offices, shops and apartments nearby, more than doubled in value since they were purchased in 2011 and 2013.

The fund’s 25 percent holding in the Crown Estate partnership, which owns parts of the luxury shopping street and the Quadrant 3 development, is valued at 15.8 billion kroner ($1.9 billion), the world’s largest wealth fund said in a report on Wednesday. The Government Pension Fund Global purchased the stake in two separate transactions for a total of 549.5 million pounds ($801 million).

The fund’s allocation to real estate should be increased to 7 percent from 5 percent, which would see property holdings rise about $17 billion, Norway’s Finance Ministry said this month. The sharp increase in the value of the Regent Street holdings reflects the rise of central London commercial properties as well as a weakening kroner.

The fund reported a first-quarter loss amid market turbulence as the government started withdrawals. It lost 85 billion kroner ($10 billion), or 0.6 percent, after rising 3.6 percent in the fourth quarter, the Oslo-based investor said on Thursday. Real estate investments fell 1.3 percent, compared to a 2.9 percent decline in the value of its stocks and a 3.3 percent gain on bonds.

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